Excerpt from The Public Library and the Common Schools: Three Papers on Educational Topics You are all teachers in the common schools of the town of Quincy, and I very freely acknowledge that I think your course as such, especially of late, has been marked by a good deal of zeal, by a consciousness of progress, and a sincere desire to accomplish good results. I am disposed neither to find fault with you nor with our schools, as schools go. I should like, however, to ask you this simple question Did it ever, after all, occur to you, what is the great end and object of all this common school system - Why do we get all these children together, and labor over them so assiduously year after year? Now, it may well be that it never sug gested itself in that way to you, but I think it may safely be asserted that the one best possible result of a common-school edu cation, its great end and aim, should be to prepare the children of the community for the far greater work of educating themselves.
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